Thanks to vehicles like the Tesla Roadster as well as Porsche’s 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car, the future of sports car racing is seen as electrified. Environmental preservation is a trend the auto industry as a whole is addressing and the exclusive supercar builders are not excluded. In fact, with supercars being a concentrated form of human emotion and passion set on wheels, it is only fitting these vehicles exhibit the latest advanced powertrains.
As reported on Automoblog.net last year, the Porsche 918 Spyder concept’s ability to wow auto show crowds at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show has granted to vehicle a coveted production run. Set to become Porsche’s next halo car by late 2013, the top of the line 918 Spyder’s performance will be delivered courtesy of plug-in hybrid technology. Inching closer to the hands of performance drivers, Porsche has entered the next stage in bring the 918 Spyder to a street-going reality. Right now, orders for the Porsche 918 Spyder are being recorded by the German auto company practically certifying the supercar for customer availability.
While the Panamera and Cayenne hybrid have already beaten the 918 Spyder to market as Porsche’s first display of hybrid drive technology, this first two-door supercar application by the German automaker has the alternative powertrain uniquely configured. Classified as a plug-in hybrid, the Porsche 918 Spyder can run up to 16 miles on electric only mode. Consisting of two electric motors, one each on the supercar’s front and rear axle, the variable all-wheel drive system allows the Porsche 918 Spyder to benefit from balanced weight distribution. Combined, the two electric motors will supply approximately 218 horsepower for zero emissions driving. When available, electrical charging of the Porsche 918 Spyder can be performed over a 7-hour period through a US household outlet or less with a quick charge unit.
Confirming the gasoline engine power of the Porsche 918 Spyder will be originating from a V-8 powerplant, exact details of the Porsche 918 Spyder’s gasoline engine is not provided but the manufacturer has mentioned some ballpark expectations. Said to be no more than 4 liters in displacement, Porsche has guaranteed the 918 Spyder gasoline-only performance output will be at least 500 horsepower. The Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch gearbox is confirmed as the centerpiece for transmitting engine power through the all-wheel drive system.
Using the collective power of gasoline and electric power, the Porsche 918 Spyder achieves impressive fuel economy and emits only 112 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. If true, the Porsche 918 Spyder supercar will process carbon dioxide emissions cleaner than a diesel-powered Smart Fortwo. Offering fantastic performance for the sake of the environment, the 918 Spyder delivers the road performance Porsche fans have grown to expect. Accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.1 seconds, the 918 Spyder recorded a top speed of 199 miles per hour during testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. In lapping the 12.8-mile track, the Porsche 918 Spyder took 7 minutes and 30 seconds to complete the distance. This time is 2 seconds faster than Porsche’s previous top-rated supercar, the Carrera GT.
Not everything in the Porsche 918 Spyder aspires to high-tech operations. With no shortage of premium vehicles electing to make convenience gadgets a showcase on their vehicles, the 918 Spyder manually removable roof section is appreciated by sports car purest tire of the excessive catering to luxury a modern high-performance car feels forced into providing motorists. The classic Porsche exterior shape is another reassurance that the exploration into new powertrains does not rob the spirit of the sports car.
Taking orders for the 918 Spyder, Porsche has estimated the price tag of the upcoming supercar at $835,000 in United States money. Along with the obstacle of the hefty base price, those who can presently afford the Porsche 918 Spyder will have to accept the vehicle in their long-term plans. Set for production at the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen manufacturing complex for September 18th of 2013, a more than 2-year wait is required for the Porsche 918 Spyder. Starting production on the 65th anniversary year since Porsche’s first prototype, the September 18th date is one day prior to the birthday of the German sports car’s founder Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche. For the interim, the German automaker has prepared a 918 Spyder special edition of the Porsche 911
Fulfilling the new generation of high-performance supercar driving with better fuel economy and lower emissions, there is little to dislike about near future of supercars.
Information and photo source: Porsche Cars North America